Reasonable Suspicion

PLEASE NOTE: DFWPAs last day of operation is September 30, 2022.

Drug Testing: Reasonable Suspicion

Reasonable suspicion, also termed reasonable cause, is the number one way for an employer to identify whether an employee is using drugs or alcohol while working. It protects the rights of both the employer and employee. We highly recommend you complete our online or in-person Supervisor Training which will help guide you in this process.


Eyewitness observation and documentation are needed when dealing with an employee whom you believe is under the influence and who is either just reporting for duty, currently on duty, or just finishing duty. A reasonable suspicion or reasonable cause form is used to document observations that include categories like their physical appearance, odors from their breath such as alcohol, and their motor coordination such as ability to walk, balance or turn. Important signs like change in attitude or unusual behavior may be perceived as drug or alcohol use indicators as well.

Once facts are documented, the supervisor must inform the employee suspected of misconduct that he or she will be taken to get drug tested. Tests have to be conducted in a timely manner and the employer will have to provide a staff member or a service agent to take the employee to the testing site and back.

Details for executign and documenting reasonable suspicion are provided during our Supervisor Training.  Resources, including Sample Forms and tools for documentation are provided below and on our Resources page.